New Site Allows Consumers to Compare Providers’ Costs, Performance Records
On a new Web site called PatientWise that was launched this week, patients who need a certain medical procedure can "shop around for health care services much like they would for a car," the Business Journal of Milwaukee reports. The site, created last May by Bradley Engel, a Wisconsin man who has worked in the health care sector for 25 years, allows patients who need a medical procedure to "post a case history" for $79. Participating providers then can review it to see if "they are interested in performing the procedure." Within three to five days, the consumer receives a response listing the "cost, physician availability and qualifications" of providers who agree to perform the procedure. If the consumer chooses one of the selected providers, he or she receives a $30 rebate. Engel said that the information the site offers is something that is "missing on the health care consumer landscape." According to the Business Journal, the company has received commitments from 100 providers nationwide and "expects to handle 30,000 cases in 2002," generating revenue upwards of $1 million "primarily ... by selling [its] service to managed care providers and employers as part of employee benefit packages" (Trewyn, Business Journal of Milwaukee, 4/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.